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I put together a simple router planing jig - everything seems level, but as I pass the router over this test board, it leaves a track (as pictured).

Top down From end

You can barely feel it, and hitting the board with an orbital sander real quick seems to touch it up, but I'm concerned that the board will be no good for an end grain block that it is destined for.. though it looks like it might be flush enough.

The bit I'm using is a 2 inch wide bowl bit (flat on the bottom) though I've tried a larger bottom clearing bit and it had the same issue.

So, question - is this to be expected using a router as a planer? If not, is there something in particular that is causing this?

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    Just on general principle this suggests to me that the router isn't mounted absolutely perfectly square. "I'm concerned that the board will be no good for an end grain block that it is destined for" If nobody has any relevant experience to offer this may need to be a try-it-and-see thing. – Graphus Mar 27 '19 at 6:22
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I get the same tracks, and they come out pretty easily with the orbital as you mentioned. This happens as small variations in downward pressure will occur when making passes with the router sled.

One option is to "fix" your router in the sled then simply move the sled itself instead of moving the router up and down a channel that runs the length of the sled. Of course, you'll need a wider sled to plane wider boards, but it will do a better job of alleviating these tracks.

Here's an example of what I'm talking about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbBrbUK2cek

  • It's unfortunate I can't add a photo here, but it seems that you're right - Graphus's comment had me disassemble and reassemble everything, which helped to "prove" that everything was level. I tweaked the setup so that it was big enough to use some angle bars I had lying around, locked in the router, and made some passes. The "lines" disappeared, and except for a couple spots where I screwed up earlier, it was perfect. – Stephen Mar 27 '19 at 9:10
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    @Stephen, Now that you have your answer, thought I'd mention scraping to get rid of any marks similar to this that you may get in future. Scraping is very quick, nearly silent and leaves a better surface than sanding in almost all woods, basically it's an awesome technique to have in the arsenal. – Graphus Mar 28 '19 at 5:44
  • @Graphus - funny enough, I actually do that usually on my plates and dishes. Lost my flat one though, probably sitting under a couple inches of sawdust :\ – Stephen Mar 29 '19 at 19:29

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